Friday, September 26, 2008

woohoo my ass

I have nothing nice to say about last night's turn of events. Yes, the account is safe. Yes, my mortagage company will still be able to fleece, uh, autodebit me. But folks, Chase sux.
GACK! I think I just threw up a little.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

SHHHH- Do you here it?

That's the sound of an empty house.
I got a call from DC (darling cousin) last night after they got home. They have power and were waiting for the AC to cool the house.
I had been told 2 days ago(inside) to slip her the last of the 'emergency cash'. When they took off yesterday I slipped her eldest an envelope and told her not to give it to DC until they got home (cuz I knew she'd try to give it back). She was crying when she called. She had just got off the phone with a friend and they had prayed for God to fill her financial needs...then her daughter walks up with the envelope. I told her, "See, God had answered before you asked, he was just waiting for you to ask." Now, I have enlisted another prayer warrior .
On the home front, WhiteDog pouted last night and this morning I found her asleepo in the empty bedroom (where she had been bedding down with the kids).
The cats slowly crept in for dinner and then again for breakfast. I can't sit down without having a lap-full-o-cat.
I told BigDog about the tiny evacuee in the backyard. His response was "Oh shit." He said that I COULD NOT let THAT one in the house and he/she would be fine as an outdoor cat. If it IS going to hang, I want to make sure it gets altered (especially if it is female), cuz we don't need anymore.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Getting back to "Normal"

I was sent this heartwarming story of survival by my friend. This is his story and I asked permission to share it. I know you will enjoy, may it bless your day as it did mine:

"...... Miss Kitty was cool, calm & collected throughout the whole thing, until the aftermath. Once the storm was over with and the humidity levels began to rise, that’s when she started getting restless and anti-social. She’d hide for most of the day, sleeping, and really wanted nothing to do with me pretty-much. She was probably saying “Turn on the damned air already, you idiot. And while you’re at it, how ‘bout some lights ? And what’s up with all these insanely loud noises outside ? Can’t you see I’m trying to sleep here ?” (That noise was work crews and wood-chippers cleaning up the downed trees and fallen limbs in the street and on the complex property).
I had no water pressure either for the weekend, so I was taking “showers” in my bathing suit in the rain on my front patio, bars of soap and shampoo in-hand (hope I didn’t scare anybody with THAT visual). I wasn’t about to drain my emergency water supply in the tub to bathe, and besides, that water was ice-cold anyway. At least the rain was a tolerable temperature.

The funny thing, though, was just hours before the hurricane hit, I just so happened to replace the litter in Miss Kitty’s box. However, I found I only had about half a litter box worth of new litter to put back in, to my dismay. So as the weekend progressed, with no power, a tub full of water, wet carpeting, wet everything outside, the windows wide open, and absolutely NO wind what-so-ever blowing outside for several hours, the humidity levels inside became almost unbearable. That’s when the “damp musties” started in, making everything start smelling quite “wonderful”. The smell of wet, humid carpet and water soaked grass, mud and wood, etc . . . was getting to be a little much by Sunday morning. So because of the low level of litter in the box, I knew I would have to scoop out her box at least once a day, instead of every 3 days like I normally I do (I keep her box quite full, for just that reason). So late Sunday morning, I went over to clean out her box, and the most wonderful flowery smell filled my nose: the smell of fresh cat litter. It was the best smelling thing in the house. I just sat there for a minute, enjoying the near sensory-overloading smell of modern civilization, cat poop and all. I thought it was pathetically hilarious at the time. I was sitting there next to the litter box thinking how pathetic l had become viewing a soiled toilet as a mild blessing. At the same time I was thinking how funny it was that in the midst of all my insignificant “suffering” (as opposed to those who REALLY had problems at the time), I would find a silver lining underneath a cat turd. Thank you Fresh Step."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ike-Day 5

I'm still out of the office. The 12 story glass atrium in the middle DID take some damage. There is also a rumor the bldg management is having problems getting the bldg services to behave.
Boss says the Poobahs are gathering today to assess the situation and make a gameplan for getting back on track.
I'm starting to get upset with HOA. They have had a crew out clearing the debris from the median on our road. I still have a brush line around the yard, so do my neighbors. We;ve been given no instructions on how to dispose of this stuff. What the HELL do we pay these people for?
The local news is reporting that there is rain coming. Grrreeeaaatttt. Bright side? At least if the brush stays wet, its less of a fire hazard.
Good news is-they were reporting last night that they are seeing fewer people in the lines for water, ice, and food.

Otter: I had a feeling that there must have been some damage at the office. These people are too much into opening for business at all costs , to have kept it closed this long.
You know....the members of the HOA ought to get together and send registered letters to the HOA, demanding they clean up the neighborhood or risk a lawsuit. A taste of their own medicine would be sweet, wouldn't it?
Any word about Orange? I think it would be just fantastic if you got some of those days off with peace and privacy. Now I think you understand a bit about kids. Just be thankful you haven't got a houseful of toddlers.
I am almost through cleaning out my car. I scrubbed the dash, Armour-All'd it, vacuumed up pet hair, washed inside glass, and will finish vacuuming it out when my dustbuster recharges. It smells all nice and clean. I am taking a very dear friend up to an Emmaus Walk. I am really excited for her. She has had a very difficult time this year with things going wrong. She will be able to relax, recharge, and be waited on like she is dearly loved. So I will be going to the city this afternoon, saturday evening, and sunday afternoon. Great time for the gas prices to rise, eh?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ike-Day 4

Thanks to the heroic efforts of the linemen (& women), this town is starting to reawaken. This may be my last day off. "Course they are taking it one day at a time and I have to check the website daily. Good news is that 2 out of 3 of my team members have power and one of those never lost it. One of my guys is still out of power and is under boil water orders, he didn't and now has a stomach "thing". My boss does not have power, but surprisingly sounded "not-so-cranky", color me astonished.
Last night I gave the oldest girl some of my art books and good paper from one of my old sketch books. I gave Momma a pile of spiritual self-help books, like "Freedom from the ties that bind" and "Who moved my Cheese?"
My paycheck came in today-hooray. So life IS returning.
The visit to Yarntopia yesterday did me a world of good. Amy says she believes they are the only shop open in this whole city. And sadly, we completely lost one shop south of is 'no more'. They catered to spinners-so somewhere, on some Texas beach, there's gonna be roving, and drop spindles, and wheels washing up. Wanna go beach combing?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I want to apologize to all who have left comments and have not recieved an answer. In all the confusion, I've forgotten to check my email that recieves those comments. Thank you for your kind words, encouragment and smart-ass comments...they are much appreciated.
Ok, so I've been left alone w/BigDogs cousin and kids. I will not post anything on that for now, but check back for the real scoop at a later date.
While its quiet, I want to just savor the sound (or lack thereof).

Monday, September 15, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes

I just woke up. Its 7 freaking 12 and I woke up about 12 minutes ago. No flood, no howling winds, nothing going "snap, crackle, pop" or "MOM!"
Everryone, except BigDog and I are tucked away in their beds.
I'm so grateful, for so many things. Lights, a/c (though it is cool this morning), water, toilets that flush w/o buckets, and my childless condition. 'Course if I had kids, I probably would react completely different to current circumstances.
I watched Little Women a couple of weeks ago-found myself identifying with the old aunt. I totally "got" her.
The office is closed today-I think that area actually has poweer, but we'll have to wait and see....

Otter: Just read that the yarn store is open. Maybe you need to go sit and knit and swap war stories before you kill someone from post traumatic stress relatives.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good Effing Morning

Woke up this morning(at 4:30) to a dancing dog. Blackdog needed to go, but it was also storming. Rain coming down in buckets! While I waited for her to do her business, I fed the cats and made coffee. Then I took my coffee upstairs to crochet while not waking up the sleeping army of kids in the living room floor, and take a shower. About 15 min. after I finished my shower and got dressed, just settled down with coffee and yarn, there was a loud noise and a knock on my bedroom door; "Uh, Cubedog? There's water coming in the living room and we're all getting wet."
O crap, I KNEW the roof wasn't our only problem.
Chaos ensued as I grabbed anything that was absorbant, rushed downstairs and tried to stem the flood. We had about 3" of water on the back patio and the water was coming in the weepholes.
I went and woke BigDog up and by 5:30 we were out trenching around the foundation, trying to get ahead of the buckets that were still falling. After about an hour, BD went and pulled the Marine Corp. wake-up call on all the kids and forced them out to help.
He wanted me to marshall the Moms to mop up the floors and fix a hot breakfast for the kids.
I ended up cooking (you can just imagine the comments I would like to make here) and by the time we were ready to feed, there was family drama and half the family a hurry.
We just finished up outside and I'm 3rd or 4th in line for a hot shower....again.
Lunch is on the stove-cooking and I've planned spagetti for dinner.
I hope there's a grocery store open today. We're outta milk, almost out of bread and I need creamer.HEB was open yesterday-guess I'll have to go out and brave the zombie hoards.

Otter: Oh almost made it out unscathed! But did I not say something about the living room? Uh...maybe I said it to mom. Well, you will just have to tell me the details. Also, have you found out anything about the job in the morning?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

More Ike developments

We have 4 evacuees now, we are getting 4 more tonight. D'ya think I can get assistance from Red Cross?

We got out earlier and checked out damage around the 'hood.

This guy came around and scraped the crud outta the gutters so the street was passable.

Next door neighbor's.

We are very blessed-this coulda been us.

Otter: Do you think maybe HOA will be cruising at first light monday....making lists of who needs to be sent a threatening letter about the uprooted tree in their yard......shingles off roof.....yeah, get that done in one week or we will sue you!
Can you imagine your HOA in Galveston. Dear Homeowner, We noticed your house is missing. We strongly suggest you find it and put it back within two weeks or we will be forced to file suit against you for breach of HOA contract.

Yeap-lots of BBQ wood

This snapped tree is 2 doors down.
Otter: So very glad you only had the one small limb. Have you heard anything about the office yet?
Gotta go feed now....a tigger is giving me head bumps

Le Sigh

Fuzzy pic of rain sweeping across the neighbors roof and trees swaying. This was aat about 7 am.

This is the view out my front door towards the corner. Those are all limbs from my front oak.
As reported by Otter. Our lights flickered, and power popped on and off at about 6 am, but out of 2 mil. customers without power, we are not them. And this we thank God for. The coffee pot works, the ac works, life is good.
Thank you all for all your prayers and good vibes directed towards us.
It is relatively calm now. The storm is moving north quickly and the storm surge is subsiding.
More as we can get out and assess the full extent.
BTW-the gas refineries were in the full strike zone...expect fallout at the pump.

Otter: I just talked to mom....she heard from brother. He has a couple of leaks in the roof and no power, but otherwise made it through the eye of the storm okay.
And today is baby boy's 25th birthday. I talked to him twice before I remembered and called him the third time.

Morning Report

Cubedog and family are okay this morning. She tries to update here but her power will flicker off just as she is ready to post. The eye seems to have gone right oven downtown so she may not have an office to go to. They are in the hurricane right now on the west side of it and have the high winds and rain. She said a few big limbs down, but that is it so far.
On the other hand, we have a brother that lives on the northwest side of downtown and may be experiencing the eye fury right now. We won't know how he is until he checks in with our mother.
Things are pretty bad down there and liable to be horrible by the time the hurricane passes and they can assess damages. Please keep the area in your prayers.
Otter out.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hi Hos

The western sky at sunset.

I've acquired the computer long enough to say, everything is far.

First damage...small limb in the back deck. No rain.

We still have power and BigDog is mixing fruity frozen drinks. I somehow became the'd that happen?

Gotta run and give the 'puter back.

More later....I may go sleep for a few hours.

Evening update

I just talked to Cubedog on the phone. She can't get online as they are using the computer to keep two kids occupied. Everything she does is questioned by the kids. Their mom needs to be drugged.
As of 8:30 pm, they are just starting to feel the winds but have had no rain so far.
This will probably be the last update until she is heard from in the morning.

Just now showing

Well, the blue skies are gone. When I took this you could feel a slight mist. You can see the wind blowing the umbrella a little. That's Darius, Angie's youngest looking very bored.
This is BigDog comforting the Chi-weenie. Her name is Sasha. Gotta run, BD wants me to go take pics of the house.

Otter: It looks like Sasha found the safe place and person...LOL
It is icky over here in the west part of I-10. I don't know if the heavy clouds over me are the cold front or the outer bands. I do know that the humidity is stiffling, no breeze, and radio signals are all screwed up. I can usually get a strong signal in my car from a couple of out of town stations. That ain't happening now. Static, bleeding......and the only one I can pick up clearly is the local podunk yokel station that I refuse to listen to. It's like fingernails on chalkboard to me.

Good Morning

I awoke this morning to sun streaming through the blinds.
Go th , Video/Mobile tab and watch David Paul's video forecast.
I have a guest bedroom full-groceries all over the kitchen cabinets. I don't know when they got in - I crashed at 2:30 pm. Oh, and there is a Chi-wennie on my kitchen table.
Speaking of pets, all the girls are afraid of 'outside'. So am I, it feels creepy out there.
The sun is shining, there is a slight breeze, but the air is THICK and HOT.
Now I understand the description in the novel about the 1900 hurricane. CREEPY. Like the whole world is holding its breath.

This is what the back looks like right now. Peaceful, eh?

Otter: It's 10:20 and I am in the open area between the clouds of the cold front and the first outter cloud bands of Ike. I didn't realize what was causing me pain the past few days until Mom called a bit ago and asked if I was hurting. Caught between two low fronts is not a comfortable place to be.

I strongly suggest your call your mother. She called me right after I checked in here and I told her updates of company but she thinks we talked on the phone. She emailed brother and he feels he will do fine.

I have my puter on, watching here and weather sites.....and my tv tuned to Weather Channel. Mom says Fox is covering it well, so will check there too.

You have a ChiWeenie on your table? That is what Beanie is.....brown weenie body with chihuahua head and legs.

Cubedog: I just took her outside. She looks like Gretchen with long legs. Everyone is still sleep, so I don't know her name yet. I emailed Mom, guess I'll call, too.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Good Evening

Well, now at 10:30 they are saying that Ike will come in over Galveston and now as a Cat 1. The evac.s have gone smoothly. I-10 is crawling west of us and I-45 is crawling north of us, but the roads are fairly clear in the immediate area. When I got home, I found out thaat BigDog's cousin and her 3 youngun's are evacuating to our house. I have been working for the last 4 hours cleaning and getting ready for them.
BigDog talked to his family's weather witch earlier. WW has never missed on a storm landfall or severity. Today, WW was evacuating and said, "Its gonna be bad." That's good enough for me.
We are preparing for 70-80 mph winds (sustained) coming at us from the NE. I have to get up tomorrow and run to the grocery store and pharmacy. I'm out of sinus meds and I need sugar for baking a "Hurricane" cake.
Gotta run now and go make up the beds and take a shower.
Til tomorrow.


Word came down about 1 hour ago. The building is shutting down this evening and not reopening until Monday (if all goes well). That means my company was forced into a decision to close tomorrow. Nice when someone else takes the responsibility.

Otter: Okay, I want to know if you made it home alright. I know you go home toward the western evac route. Hope you check in soon.

A tweek

I thought I would share that I am sitting outside on my laptop. It is cloudy with a nice cool breeze. I just ran the pump on my pool to clean it up after the rain which makes it green, and thought I might get in for a while and work on my tan.
Just wanted to share. Only thing is....the laptop is getting a bit warm in my lap...ugh.

It has begun

It has begun

Went out at lunch for food and a pack of smokes. Took 1/2 hour to get the smokes. Everywhere people are crowding the streets, jamming up the gas stations, all these people with fear as their constant motivator.

Got a voice message from BigDog: Come home noooowwwww. The Zombies are everywhere. I need help with the reloading!

Yes, they are zombies, but instead of "Braaiiinnnsss". these are moaning something more like: "Gaaaasssss", "Waaattteeerrr", "Plywooooddddd".
Otter: I find it strangly fascinating that a cold front over me is sucking in the super low of the hurricane toward us. There must be some physics extended, mind sucking explaination for it.
Ya'll laid in plenty of water, pet food, and smokes for the event, didn't you?

Cubedog: I am letting BigDog "batten down the hatches". I figure he knows better than me how that's done.

Blogging Ike

Looks like we are going to get a 'little' visitor. As of the last report I got at 7 this morning, the most likely landfall will be directly south of the house. The projected path from there, put the eye passing right over the house. They are predicting sustained winds at 80-90 mph with gusts to 110.
I will be home tomorrow posting pics and bloggin as long as the electricity holds out.
Remember, run from the water(storm surge), hide from the wind(shelter in place)-we will be doing the later.
When BigDog and I were discussing evacuation plans last night (in case the house is uninhabitable afterwards) and we were making oflist of 'must packs'. You shoulda seen the look I got when I said, "Yarn, and losts of it." Priceless. Then I reminded him that it was either that or I was gonna be whacked out on Xanax.
It is currently 9:30 am and I'm at the office-there is no word yet as to whether the office will close tomorrow. Even though the mayor, in this morning's news conference, urged all employers to close their offices tomorrow. Its a 'wait and see' attitude around here. I think the HPs(Higher Powers) are betting on this turning into another Rita and missing us all together.

Otter: I will be here with you. I have nothing else plannned, but think maybe a bit of cleaning up in the guest room and studio in case you have to bugger out and park here. We could toss the cats in the studio with a pan and food and make inaccessible anything that they could ruin by peeing on it.
May I suggest you seal all yarn and fabric in plastic bags just in case. It may seem like a lot of trouble now.....but a good thing if your roofers don't happen to have been up to par, or Ike decides to smack you upside the head. Did you get the flooding from the backyard into the living room solved? Can't recall, but sure hope so.
Cubedog: Remember, its YOUR studio my yarn peeing cats would be inhabiting.......maybe YOU should put things in plastic.....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Home Improvement

When we bought this house, we thought the roof was good. Sadly we didn't know about the big hole forming on the upside of the chimney. After 10 years of holes in the ceiling, waterfalls in the master bedroom, and salmon spawning streams across the living room, it is finally done and the new roof is here. A momentus day that has had unexpected benefits-the house is cooler!

So, without further ado-here it is:

The supplies arrived before 7 am

The work begins (you can see how bad the old one was):

New tar paper, new shingles, new flashing,
no more "Turban" vent:

You can see where they have torn out rotten wood, replace rotten fascia board,
and closed off the rat holes.
What a mess, but they cleaned all of it up:

This pic just makes me smile:

The last piece of the puzzle-the porch roof:

Its a very subtle change. We went back with the same color that was on before, but to us, its a world of change.

OK-so the roof is being destructed, but I like the way this pic makes my house look so nice: